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Abigail Satinsky, Curator, Tufts University Art Galleries, on Mentorship

Abigail Satinsky

What does mentorship mean for an artist? 

The way I think about mentorship is building community – it is vital for artists to build a network to enrich their practices in the long term by finding mentors who will challenge and support their work and to give that support to other emerging artists as well. Community is everything for artists – it is how the work gets better, how artists get opportunities, and how a creative life can be possible.

How do you mentor students at SMFA? 

At the galleries, our goal is to provide a window into how contemporary artists are working today, by exhibiting a diverse array of practices and mediums, as well as inviting nationally and internationally recognized working artists to engage with the SMFA community through lectures, studio visits, and workshops. We make opportunities for students to find their mentors in the wider art-world, which hopefully helps in figuring out how to continue their practices after leaving school. In my role, I create the space for those connections to happen. I share alternative and experimental models of exhibition-making and practice, both in classrooms and one-on-one, and work directly with students to demystify the back end of how exhibitions and programming works in the exhibitions office.

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